This will be the official blog for the University of Victoria’s chapter of the Student Animal Legal Defence Fund. We are a chapter of the Animal Legal Defence Fund (http://aldf.org) and work to create awareness of animal law issues. The club was re-started in 2012 by three first-year students who currently run the club and we are hoping it will have a long life after we graduate!
Who We Are
Erin Gray – Campaign Officer
Erin is a second-year law student and she is also an amazing event co-ordinator who has pulled together several speakers for the club and put on a very well-received “exam dogs” visit to the law school, bringing some shelter dogs and student’s dogs in to help de-stress students in our club’s lounge. She is also an active member of the Environmental Law Club and Clinic!
Courtney Barnes – C0-Ordinating Officer
Courtney Barnes is a second-year law student as well, and she is pulling together some speaking events for the upcoming year. She organized a project for the Crown and the BC SPCA. Law students signed up to create through research a “Sentencing Matrix” which tracked sentencing for provincial animal cruelty statutes and Criminal Code animal cruelty crimes across several provinces. This project was very well received by the SPCA and should help Crown with sentencing for animal cruelty crimes and the SPCA in deciding which charges to lay.
Julia Bennett – Communications Officer & Blog Author
This is me – another second-year law student. I am a contact point for students and now run this blog! I love animals and have volunteered at the local BCSPCA shelter. I am concerned about all animal law issues but particularly adore dogs. I will be running this blog although guest posts will hopefully be a regular thing!
What We’ve Done
We have had several speakers on animal law issues, including our own Professor Deckha, who specializes in Animal Law, and a panel of those working in the community dealing with animal law. We put on an exam dogs event which was well-attended with beverages and desserts! We also completed the Sentencing Matrix as discussed above the SPCA & Crown Counsel.
What’s Coming Up
We are hoping to have several speakers in the next term (with pizza at our meetings!), hopefully a panel discussing breed-specific legislation, and potentially a film screening for next semester. We are also hoping to arrange the “exam dogs” event again for the spring semester!
What this blog will be about
General animal law issues – anything from historical animal law (I’m interested in the Victorian era advancements – look for a post on the Trial of Bill Burns at some point!) to current developments, to just general raising of issues and thoughts. As mentioned, guest posts will be welcomed, although I’ll attempt to post at least monthly both regarding a topic of interest to animal law and to update on what’s going on with our club!
If you’d like to contact us or join the email list, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org!